First the good news…I finished The Color Run 5k on Saturday!
Now the not so great news…The Color Run was more like The Color Some Jog, but Mostly Walk 5k. Before I get into the recap I have to put this out there. While I wasn’t thrilled that I couldn’t run the whole thing, I am really proud of myself for putting myself out there and making the effort. Let’s do a race recap. Another first for me!
(Note: If you don’t feel like ready, ya lazy bum, just scroll down to the bottom to watch the video!)
A few months ago I saw a post or video for The Color Run 5k. It said it was the happiest 5k on the planet. I had been wanting to do a 5k and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I sent out an email and our little group formed. Our team consisted of myself, Karen, Tina (Karen’s BFF and the hero of this story), Meg, and her sister, Gwen. Tina and Gwen have both run a marathon(s) and Karen completed the same half-marathon that The Scientist did last year. Meg and I were “newbies”.
As Saturday approached I started to get a little nervous. I didn’t do nearly as much training as I had hoped because of my nutty schedule at work. Excuses, excuses, but it was true!
The morning of the run we met at Karen’s and car pooled to Amesbury.
Over the past few weeks The Color Run had been sending out email updates with info on documentation, bib pick-up, etc. The run had two designated parking spots that they would shuttle back and forth from. Looking back I should have realized that shuttling 11,000 people would be a logistical nightmare.
We parked, took a ton of photos and started to wait for a shuttle. At least part of our team did. Tina, cross fit extraordinaire, decided to get a little exercise in BEFORE the run so she took off to the start line about 5.5 miles. She beat us to the start line. Tina literally beat a moving vehicle. It took over 1 hr for us to be boarded on to a shuttle (school bus) and there were still plenty of people left behind us.
We got to the start line area and got ready to go. Fortunately because the buses were so behind getting across the start line didn’t take too long. We waited through 2 waves which were about 10 minutes apart. And then it was our turn.
And we were off.
The runners in the group were kind enough to run through the first color spot with me and then we sent them on their merry way.
The course itself was beautiful. Beautiful homes and a waterfront view.
It was around the blue paint station that I realized…I don’t think I like running through color. The paint is almost a chalk and is really fine powder.
The volunteers kind of throw it on your clothes, but every now and then one of the kids just throws it in your face. I do NOT enjoy the paint in my face. It went up my nose and in my mouth and smelled like pee.
I finally got the hang of it around 3rd color and knew to kind of bow my head as I went through.
Along the way there was one water stop and the water was disgusting. I heard rumors that it was actually tap water which is super icky.
Although I wanted to run the whole thing, it just wasn’t working. We walked a good chunk with jogging thrown in there in between. I definitely met my goal of not being fast, but not being last.
Finally, it what seemed like no time at all, we were at the Finish line. I was hoping for a last burst of color, but that was a no go. I was super excited to have completed it and loved all the activity at the finish line!
Tina and Karen had waited for us at the Finish line to cross over together, but we missed them somehow. When you are covered in paint everyone starts to look the same!
At the park was also a stage where every 10 minutes or so they would do a color burst of sorts. At the beginning of the race they give you a packet of color, that you have to carry with you the whole race, and then you bust it out near the end. Unfortunately I was a little confused and had already busted my packet open near the Finish line. I wanted some paint and I got a little overzealous.
The crowds of people were a little insane, but it was really fun being in the mix. The music was great and everyone was dancing around waiting for the next color throw down to happen.
Right before the color burst I got smart and decided to put my bandana over my mouth and nose. It took me seeing someone else do it to realize I could have done this at the other color stops. Ugh…
Then it was time…everyone busted out their color packets and went nuts!
Before the race and After the Race (but before color throw down!)
After Color Mob!
The finish line was at Amesbury Sports Park and this is kind of where things started to go bust for us. When we arrived it was hot as heck and there wasn’t a drop of water to be seen. We finally found a big table for water but it was that nasty tap water again. I’m not picky, but this stuff was just disgusting. To get anything to eat or drink you had to have tickets. Tickets required standing in a line at 1 ticket tent that had about 1,000 people around it. It just wasn’t worth it for us.
At that point we were all painted up and ready to go home. We searched for the color cleaner off thing that they said would be on site, but yet again we came up empty. Finally we just headed towards the buses and were greeted with about 6,000 other people who had the same idea. Apparently there was tons of traffic (and accidents) on the road that the buses were traveling on and they were unable to get to us to pick us up for some time.
We did a quick note of how far away from the parking lot we were and saw that it was a little more than 6 miles. And then a miracle happened…Tina said, “I’ll just run to the car and come pick you guys up.” The same person who ran to the start line and then ran the 5k was going to run to get the car. I would have kissed her if I didn’t look like I had made-out with a Smurf already.
The rest of the group set out to walk down to the next highway exit and hopefully find some water to buy. Several other people had the same idea and we all ended up at this little sandwich shop called “Andyman’s”. Heh. As I was snacking away on a bagel with hummus we got a text from Tina that said, “Sorry I’m going so slow. Are you guys all right?” Seriously. Here we were sitting in the a/c with a bagel and she was checking on us?!
She finally made it back to us and it was time to head back home. Taking a shower was just pure bliss! Every single thing about me was gross and in need of a good scrub.
I know everyone is going to ask me…would you do The Color Run again? So here goes…Probably not. <—You never can say never, right?!
It was great for a 1x thing and really was a cool event to participate in. This particular race had too many logistical issues to deal with for me to come back. Plus, I don’t think I’m a color in my nose/mouth/ears/eyes kind of gal.
I may have complained about the race a little, but I have to say that I had A LOT OF FUN. This was my first 5k and I did it with friends. I felt really supported and just was out there to have a good time. It also makes me really want to do another and improve how long I can run. I had no idea that running (ok, fast walking/jogging) could be so much fun. I want to do this!
Before I leave ya I want to give some tips to those who are participating in The Color Run in the future.
The Color Run 5K Tips
1. Do this with friends! It is so much fun to be there together laughing at what nut balls you look like with paint all over your face.
2. Bring your camera! Just put it in a sandwich ziploc bag. Karen and I took almost all of our photos while it was still in the bag. The paint is really fine powder and will GET ON EVERYTHING.
3. Wear sunglasses! Not only does it protect your little eyes from the sun, but it prevents the paint from getting in your eyeballs.
4. Plan to wear some kind of belt or pack to carry everything in. In addition to Karen’s key, we had to bring money (for water, beer & food), IDs, phones, and the color pack. I had a little clip on my wallet that I connected to my sports bra and held the paint packet thingy in my hand, which was really annoying.
5. Bring a change of clothes and a garbage bag. Everything that comes off your body goes in that bag! If not, it will be all over your car!
6. Cover your hair or put in leave in conditioner right before you race. This helps get all the color out of your hair later.
7. Bring spectators. Let your spectator friends know that they WILL get paint on them.
8. Wear a white tshirt and old shoes! Its just more fun not to have to worry about anything getting ruined.
9. Don’t be afraid to walk. Plenty of people were there walking, pushing strollers, and just chatting with friends on a leisure walk. Do what you feel comfortable with!
10. HAVE FUN!
Thanks so much for the lovely tweets and emails of encouragement! Much appreciated!
#15 on the 32 While 32 list= DONE!
On to the giveaway! The winner of a $25 gas gift card is…
Amanda, email me your contact info and I’ll have the gift card sent right your way!
For the rest of you folks, be on the look out in the next few weeks for another giveaway! I’m going to NYC and I’m bringing some fun things home.
Would you ever do The Color Run?!